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Starcom bot promises to automate media booking drudgery

Abacus employs robotic process automation software to work its magic

Media agency Starcom has introduced what it is heralding as the UK’s first industry media booking bot in a pilot initiative for Publicis Media.

Designed to take the drudgery out of manually booking and editing digital and print media campaigns, the automated system could potentially save thousands of hours of work, should it prove to be effective.

The catchily-titled Automated Bot for Amendments to Campaigns and Uploads (Abacus) employs robotic process automation software to work its magic, tirelessly beavering away behind the scenes to perform its duty day and night.

While this is fine in principle, the real test will be whether it is as accurate and efficient as its human counterparts – something Starcom is confident it has cracked courtesy of bespoke technology that processes and verifies important campaign details outside office hours.

This process includes verifying media plan data, uploading to campaign booking platforms, trafficking to ad servers and relaying campaign information to media owners.

Nadine Young, chief executive at Starcom, said: “Automation is a key part of our new intelligence-driven strategy, designed to leverage the best of human capability and pioneering technologies, such as this. Abacus allows us to liberate our teams from the more repetitive administrative tasks and unleash further opportunities to focus on more strategic and creative growth opportunities for our clients. This is the future, and a brilliant example of automation being used to enhance, rather than dampen, creativity.”

Early testing of Abacus suggests that it can improve speed and accuracy by as much as 50%, allowing Starcom’s hard-pressed buying teams to devote more time and energy to developing creative executions.

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